A Richmond woman was almost taken in by a scam in which she received a fraudulent check.
Ashley Ray said she responded to a Craigslist ad for Lexington regarding a job opportunity in which she would be paid weekly for driving around town with her vehicle wrapped in an advertisement for an energy drink.
“I’d heard about people doing it,” she said. “I thought it was legit, but it turned out not to be.”
Ray reported the incident to Richmond police Saturday.
“The complainant spoke with a male in reference to the ad and was told that a check was being sent to her to pay for the wrap and her first week of work,” Richmond police said in a news release.
Ray received a check for $2,500 and was told to deposit it in her bank account, keep $500 and send the rest to an address in Texas.
Ray said she grew suspicious because the check was drawn on an account belonging to the Maryland Institute College of Art.
She said she called the college and was told that seven people had notified the school about the scam.
Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock said scammers often send fake checks and ask the recipient to deposit them and send part of the money somewhere else. By the time it is discovered that the original check was drawn on a nonexistent account, the victim has usually lost their own money.
Richmond police said that this kind of scam is fairly common and that people should “maintain a healthy skepticism of such requests to deposit checks into their bank accounts and then send a portion of the money to another location. When in doubt, contact your local law enforcement agency.”
“It’s something that people need to be aware of,” Ray said. “It does happen.”